Standard Definition

I said in the last post that I was watching an episode of Star Trek Deep Space Nine. Unfortunately it was season one episode nine (which is actually the eighth episode, but the pilot counts as two episodes so… yeah) which is also probably the worst episode of the series. One of them at least. It’s the one where the bad guy possesses the doctor and you can tell when he’s the bad guy because he… talks… slow. Ugh.

Alexander Siddig having a bad day at the office* is not what I am here to talk about though. I am actually here to talk about screen resolution.

Deep Space Nine premiered in the 90’s. In those days there was no such thing as high definition television, never mind 4k or 8k or (n+1)k or whatever. I taped all of the episodes of the show onto VHS off of our cable feed (except for one season when I taped it off of the air, which was really funny) and seeing them on DVD at a later point was like the god of television rubbing my tummy. It looked so good.

Now, in the 2023 world, streaming the show on Paramount+ in standard definition is actually hard to watch. It all looks blurry. Maybe blurry is the wrong word. How about soft. The focus looks really soft. It’s not quite, but almost hard to watch. I am so spoiled by high definition and higher resolutions that standard definition can be hard to deal with. I switched over to season one episode two of The X-Files, which is also in standard def, and it looks a ton better than DS9. X-Files had Fox money behind it where Star Trek shows were syndicated. Is that the difference now? All I know for sure is that Deep Throat just showed up in this episode for the first time. Smoking Man is in episode one, Deep Throat is in episode two. Bring it on, kids.

*I’m sure Alexander Siddig is a decent guy, but I have never really been able to get along with his acting skills in Deep Space Nine. I was really pleased when he showed up in Game of Thrones and he wasn’t bad. He was the only thing in the entire Dorne story line (apart from Pedro Pascal, of course) that wasn’t terrible. His performance as the leader of Dorne was pretty good, while literally everything else in that entire story line was unwatchably terrible. Good on you, sir!